TOURNAMENT FIELD FINALIZED FOR FIFTH-ANNNUAL
AJGA HEATHER FARR CLASSIC
Seventeen boys and five girls add their names to the hunt for an Easter title
PHOENIX – A double tournament qualifier Sunday at Vistal Golf Club gave 22 juniors entry into the fifth-annual AJGA Heather Farr Classic that will take place in Phoenix over Easter weekend, April 18-20, at Vistal Golf Club.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Heather Farr Classic Qualifiers allowed 137 juniors, 107 boys and 30 girls, the opportunity to “play their way” into the two-round Championship event next Saturday and Sunday.
In the morning qualifier, medalist honors in the Boys Division went to Arizona native Scott Aydelotte of Apache Junction, with an even-par 71. Esther Choe of La Quinta, Calif., also fired a 71 to garner the low round in the Girls Division.
Aydelotte’s (37-34—71) secret ingredient for Sunday’s solid performance was his wedge game.
“The key to my round today was definitely my wedges. I stuck a lot of them that helped me a lot,” the high school junior said.
Because his short game was steady throughout the round, the 16-year-old’s plan of attack for next weekend’s event is to concentrate on putting and driving.
Michael McRae of Salt Lake City, Utah; Brandon Holub of Higley, Ariz.; California natives Bobby Martin of Bakersfield, J.J. Katnik of Santa Ana, Ben Choe of La Quinta, and Karl Katnik of Santa Ana, round out the qualifiers in the Boys Division from the morning.
Esther Choe (35-36—71), one of five girls who qualified, almost did not compete in Sunday’s qualifier due to a back injury, but she decided to play through the pain.
“I made a couple of mistakes, but I had several good putts to make up for them,” the 13-year-old Choe said.
Joining Choe in the Easter weekend battle are Arizona native Sophia Choi of Chandler; Colette Lowe of Jacksonville, Fla.; and California natives Nicole Dishman of Santa Barbara and Soo Cho of Glendale.
The afternoon qualifier added 10 more spots in the Boys Division. Local favorite Philip Francis of Scottsdale carded the low round of the day with 1-under-par 70 to earn medallist honors.
“I started the day 3-over through two holes and I was determined to finish under par,” the 14-year-old Francis said. “I really wanted to win and I knew I had a chance if I shot around even-par.”
In order to get into title contention after his disappointing first few holes, the eighth grader (32-38—70) managed to card six birdies on Nos. 2, 3, 6, 8, 10 and 12 and drained a 20-foot putt to cap an impressive performance and win the qualifier by two strokes.
At 72, California natives Sihwan Kim of La Mirada and Heejo Son of Carson, and Billy-Bob Hoyt of Payson, Ariz., will also be vying for the AJGA Heather Farr Classic title. Arizona and California natives round out the tournament field. Hailing from the home state of Arizona are Ryan Farb of Tucson, Drew Kittleson of Scottsdale, Nicholas Shimon of Peoria and Scott Spiewak of Prescott. Representing the Golden State are Brian Kim of Cerritos and Blake Shinoda of Santa Ana.
The AJGA Heather Farr Classic will feature a field of 144 players, both boys and girls, from more than 10 states and Canada, and over 30 Arizona natives are set to compete.
More than a dozen 2002 Polo Golf Junior All-Americans are amongst the 144 participants, including last year’s girls champion and Scottsdale native Amanda Blumenherst. The Polo Golf Junior Boys Player of the Year, Seung Su Han of Chino Hills, Calif., is an obvious standout in the Boys Division.
The AJGA is able to conduct the AJGA Heather Farr Classic with the continued support of Andrew Magee – an AJGA alumnus, PGA TOUR Player and former National Chairmen – and the Santa Claus Classic, the fundraising pro-am tournament supported by many Phoenix area touring professionals. Heather Farr, a former AJGA and LPGA player, won the second-annual AJGA Polo Golf Junior Classic and earned Player of the Year honors in 1980 and 1982. On November 20, 1993, Farr lost a valiant five-year battle with cancer.
First-round tee times will be 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 19 off the No. 1 and 10 tees at Vistal Golf Club.
For more information on the AJGA Heather Farr Classic, contact tournament headquarters at (602) 305-7755 or visit the Association’s Web site at ajga.org.